Cover Story Current Issue

White adipose tissue (WAT) is a complex organ that plays a central role in systemic energy balance through its interrelated metabolic, endocrine, and immune functions. Adipocytes, the parenchymal cells of adipose tissue, have diverse functions that include storage and mobilization of lipids. They also release endocrine signals that report energy status to the brain, regulating metabolic functions in peripheral organs. Importantly, the metabolic character of white adipocytes is flexible, with cells capable of assuming distinct anabolic and catabolic/thermogenic phenotypes, often within the same adipose tissue depot

Elizabeth A. Rondini, Vanesa D. Ramseyer, Rayanne B. Burl, Roger Pique-Regi, James G. Granneman

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Current Issue

The effects of housing density on mouse thermal physiology depend on sex and ambient temperature

Vojtěch Škop, Cuiying Xiao, Naili Liu, Oksana Gavrilova, Marc L. Reitman

Objective

To improve understanding of mouse energy homeostasis and its applicability to humans, we quantitated the effects of housing density on mouse thermal physiology in both sexes.

Methods

Littermate wild type and Brs3-null mice were single- or group- (three per cage) housed and studied by indirect calorimetry with continuous measurement of core body temperature, energy expenditure, physical activity, and food intake.

Results

At 23 °C, below thermoneutrality, single-housed males had a lower body temperature and unchanged metabolic rate compared to group-housed controls. In contrast, single-housed females maintained a similar body temperature to group-housed controls by increasing their metabolic rate. With decreasing ambient temperature below 27 °C, only group-housed mice decreased their heat conductance, likely due to huddling, thus interfering with the energy expenditure vs ambient temperature relationship described by Scholander. In a hot environment (35 °C), the single-housed mice were less heat stressed. Upon fasting, single-housed mice had larger reductions in body temperature, with male mice having more torpor episodes of similar duration and female mice having a similar number of torpor episodes that lasted longer. Qualitatively, the effects of housing density on thermal physiology of Brs3-null mice generally mimicked the effects in controls.

Conclusions

Single housing is more sensitive than group housing for detecting thermal physiology phenotypes. Single housing increases heat loss and amplifies the effects of fasting or a cold environment. Male and female mice utilize different thermoregulatory strategies to respond to single housing.

 

The effects of housing density on mouse thermal physiology depend on sex and ambient temperature

Vojtěch Škop, Cuiying Xiao, Naili Liu, Oksana Gavrilova, Marc L. Reitman

Objective

To improve understanding of mouse energy homeostasis and its applicability to humans, we quantitated the effects of housing density on mouse thermal physiology in both sexes.

Methods

Littermate wild type and Brs3-null mice were single- or group- (three per cage) housed and studied by indirect calorimetry with continuous measurement of core body temperature, energy expenditure, physical activity, and food intake.

Results

At 23 °C, below thermoneutrality, single-housed males had a lower body temperature and unchanged metabolic rate compared to group-housed controls. In contrast, single-housed females maintained a similar body temperature to group-housed controls by increasing their metabolic rate. With decreasing ambient temperature below 27 °C, only group-housed mice decreased their heat conductance, likely due to huddling, thus interfering with the energy expenditure vs ambient temperature relationship described by Scholander. In a hot environment (35 °C), the single-housed mice were less heat stressed. Upon fasting, single-housed mice had larger reductions in body temperature, with male mice having more torpor episodes of similar duration and female mice having a similar number of torpor episodes that lasted longer. Qualitatively, the effects of housing density on thermal physiology of Brs3-null mice generally mimicked the effects in controls.

Conclusions

Single housing is more sensitive than group housing for detecting thermal physiology phenotypes. Single housing increases heat loss and amplifies the effects of fasting or a cold environment. Male and female mice utilize different thermoregulatory strategies to respond to single housing.

 

2020 impact factor: 7.4

The 60 Second Metabolist

In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

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